Crafted on the French model of Syrah, Craggy Range Le Sol is deep black purple in color, with heady aromas of sweet black berry fruit, blueberries, exotic spices, black pepper and a hint of dustiness. These complex impressions are confirmed on the dense, highly defined palate set in a structure of sweetly elegant, tight tannins and finely honed acidity. The finish is long, penetrating and integrated.
A brilliantly defined nose with white pepper and plum; the palate displayed an exquisite, natural
balance with satin-like texture and a powerful, yet also somehow delicate finish of plum, blackberry and boysenberry." 94 Points Wine Advocate April,2008
"A warm vintage in Hawkes Bay ripened this syrah to exotic spices and a beautiful
tannin maturity, both firm and supple. The spice lasts right through it, lifting the
wine and extending the dark fruit flavors through a long finish. One of the best
vintages yet from these sensitively farmed young vines, this is delicious syrah with
that puppylike exuberance that a great young vineyard can give." 93 Points Wine & Spirits February 2009
Craggy Range Winery
Craggy Range is a family owned winery established in 1997 named by U.S publication Wine Enthusiast magazine as New World Winery of the Year for 2014. It is situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing area of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Based on the single vineyard philosophy of winemaking, Craggy Range was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to make single vineyard wines from multiple New Zealand regions with grape varieties matched to place. The winery produces a portfolio of quality wines including the iconic Prestige and Family collections, as well as Limited Editions all reflecting the place and the people.
The grapes, grown in exceptional winery-owned New Zealand estate vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough, are selected for their special soils and unique climates producing wines of character, quality and authority. The architecturally inspired Giants winery complex and vineyard is also home to the Craggy Range Cellar Door and the award winning restaurant Terroir at Craggy Range. Nestled amongst the vines, the four Craggy Range Vineyard Cottages offer self-contained boutique accommodation.
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Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine region, following Marlborough. The area is known for its shmorgasborg of different microclimates and soils. Gimblett Gravels, while sounding like a character out of Lord of the Rings, is a soil and a district in the area. Gimblett Gravels are a gravelly mix that absorb and retain heat, much like the soils of Graves in Bordeaux or Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone.
Chardonnay is the most planted grape variety here, and makes some excellent, usually un-oaked, wines. Sauvignon Blanc from the region are some is the best from the North Island. In addition, many winemakers are throwing their hat in the Bordeaux Blend ring, taking advantage of long sunshine hours and Gimblett Gravel soils by growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Syrah is also planted around the area and the reds are frequently blends. A few winemakers are making Pinot Noir from the cooler parts of Hawkes Bay.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.